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Dan Walker bids heartfelt goodbye to BBC Breakfast - and Louise Minchin surprises him!

His former co-star made a surprise return

dan walker final show
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Dan Walker bid an emotional goodbye to BBC Breakfast on Tuesday morning as he marked his final ever show before leaving to join Channel 5. 

MORE: Dan Walker sparks reaction as he reveals morning routine ahead of BBC Breakfast exit

The Breakfast team celebrated the star's final day by spending the last 30 minutes taking a look back on his best moments. 

WATCH: Dan Walker bid an emotional goodbye to BBC Breakfast

The programme's tribute to the 45-year-old featured video messages from previous guests as well as celebrity friends and colleagues, including football star Alan Shearer. His 2021 Strictly partner Nadiya Bychkova also made an appearance via video link while his former co-star Louise Minchin returned to the studio for Dan's send-off. 

Surprising Dan on the red sofa, Louise said: "It's very emotional to be here and I know that lots of people watching will be very, very sad that you're leaving because you have touched the hearts of the nation over the last six years."

Towards the end of the show, the dad-of-three made a heartfelt speech. "It's come around a lot more quickly than I thought," he said as the BBC crew gathered behind the sofa to say thank you to the host.

MORE: BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker reaches out to Louise Minchin following 'grim' ordeal

MORE: Dan Walker admits he's 'in trouble' with BBC Breakfast co-host Sally Nugent

"It does feel a bit surreal, I think, the fact that I won't be sitting on this sofa anymore, the fact that I won't be sitting next to you after today," he said, looking towards his co-star Sally Nugent. 

dan walker louise sally

Dan hosted his final show on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday

"I think when you're in this situation, you do look back at the things you've done and the stories that you've covered, the people that you've met. 

"I'm really thankful that I've had so many incredible memories of working on this programme and the wonderful moments that this role has given me. It's been a real privilege to sit here and to present this programme, which we all know means an awful lot to so many people who watch."

Turning towards the camera to address viewers, he said: "Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for all the comments and the kind messages and the many lovely words over the years. 

"Thank you for the support in loads of different things, including the dancing, and I think it's safe to say that I, and all of us, never ever take any of that for granted, the fact that people watch this programme and they enjoy it and they feel that it's a part of their lives."

View post on Instagram

Dan posted a snap of his final visit to the BBC Breakfast studio

He went on to thank the "amazing" BBC team behind the show before paying tribute to Sally. "We've had a wonderful time together and I think we could have gone on to have many years enjoying time together on this sofa but things change and change can be tough sometimes but it's also good.

"Getting up at 3 can be tough sometimes but I've loved that because of you and everybody watching as well. So keep watching, thank you very much for a lovely send-off. Thank you very much for having me and see you all soon guys," he said before the programme ended. 

Dan announced that he would be leaving the show via Channel 5's official Twitter account in April. "In the next few weeks, I'm going to be leaving BBC Breakfast and moving to 5 News and to Channel 5," he said. "I'm really excited but this has also been a massive decision for me because I love BBC Breakfast, I love working alongside Sally and I love the team there. 

"But Channel 5 came with big ambitions, with big plans. And I don't think opportunities like this come around very often. And I can't wait," he added.

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